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Knives up Knorth, Posts from Vermont

Discussion in 'The Gallery' started by ChazzyP, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. ChazzyP

    ChazzyP Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    Hi All,

    I've never been over here at the Community Forums The Gallery before, but I wanted to post some pics and text about the part of our life we spend in Vermont and throw in some knife related stuff along the way. This seems like the best place for something like that. (Edit: Well it did--mods thought it belonged over here.)

    We bought our acreage and camp in the Upper Valley in 2010 and have been working to gradually improve the house, forest, access roads, and couple acres of abandoned fields. We're in the fairly remote northeastern section of a sleepy little town with a few houses, farms, woodlots, fields, and sugarbushes spread across the hills. Heading North is a rather vast expanse of mostly unpopulated forest which a hundred years ago had been productive farmland. Last summer we were lucky to be able to pick up another pice of land just up the road encompassing a beautiful woodland and the locally most prominent peaks facing eastward across the Connecticut River toward NH's White Mountains. We've got good friends among our closest neighbors whose homes and farms range from a quarter to a mile away. That's a bit of the backstory.

    This Spring and early summer, we've managed just three stays at camp as I'm working my way back from my hip replacement surgery. We headed up about 3 weeks post-operation in mid-April. While it was more-or-less Springtime here on the Cape there was about a foot of snow around the cabin, two feet in the woods, a glacier from the roof-fall in the dooryard, and six-foot piles of spoils from a winter's-worth of plowing.

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    We leave at least one screen door on all winter to vent excess heat from the wood stove when our old Vermont Castings Vigilant threatens to drive us out of the house. That way the cat doesn't get out to become an easy meal for some of the local wildlife.

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    I'd picked up this sweet KW Exclusive Millie from @91bravo before heading up and shot this pic out toward the woodshed from our little covered North entry.

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    I had to be wicked careful, picking my way around outside as I was early in my healing process. My lovely, kind, and most capable wife took care of most of the hauling in and out while I fiddled with knives...

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    ...and took care of the cooking and filled my face.

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    That makes for a long-enough start, so I'll sign off here and pick up again with our next time up the following month.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    tech25, Shappy, d.r.h. and 2 others like this.
  2. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Damn! Here we are melting down here and you're wherever you are, playing in the snow....:p Looking forward to the next pics!
     
    MarriedTheMedic and ChazzyP like this.
  3. ChazzyP

    ChazzyP Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    Our next trip up was in mid-May. My re-hab and recovery from surgery was going really well. The strength in my legs had been good all along as I'd done considerable pre-hab leading into the operation, but I was still following post-surgical precautions and was greatly lacking in stamina. Nevertheless, I took my Festool track saw and a few extra tools up with me to tackle a project I'd been meaning to get to for a few years running.

    Our cabin had been built by the previous owner and her various husbands and, I suspect, paramours. It's reasonably solidly constructed, but there's a lot of amateur hour type stuff too, like the fact that one of the two foundation piers that were meant to flank the double doors on the South side was instead in between them. That left a 14-foot span of two floor-loads and the roof-load unsupported resulting in a wicked out-of-square opening and a non-functioning door. On top of that, some local druggie a-holes had busted that door breaking in. I'd given up trying to jack the house back up, so I trimmed the door, glued and screwed it back together, and fitted and installed the second of the screen doors I'd built but not yet installed. I had modern deadbolts already in, but re-set the striker plates, adjusted, and lubed the antique knob and latch sets that had been previously, though incompletely, installed. Check out the key hole in this old box latch....

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    The antique knob latches work fine, but I'm sticking with the modern deadbolts. :rolleyes: It's really nice to have both doors working right and to have them screened with a 6'x7' dose of pure country air wafting in. :)

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    A few knife pics shot along the way....

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    Shappy likes this.
  4. ChazzyP

    ChazzyP Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    There was no snow in May, @91bravo . ;) We were able to get the Polaris Ranger out and explore our two woodlands. It had been an odd and tough winter with super cold followed by a thaw, that followed by fairly late snow. There was a lot of wind, which is somewhat unusual, with a lot of tree breakage. We found this hanger over our road to the top on our upper acreage.

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    The top of a Beech snapped off, breaking and hanging up in another. The lower bole was twisted and split at the base and there are no good ways to drop something like this, but several ways for it to kill you if try. It doesn't look like much in the pic, but there's a lot of weight and force in that 14" diameter stem. We threw the strap around the crown of the upper, hooked it up to the Ranger's winch, and pulled on it until the bottom of the lower shattered and the whole affair came crashing down in the road.

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    We started cleaning up the mess, but left it for another time and drove up to the top for a view of the White Mountains to the East. On the right is the descending northern shoulder of Moosilauke with Black Mountain in the foreground and Loon in the distance. Mount Wolfe is in the center with the twin peaks of Kinsman to the north. All the way on the left is Mount Lincoln in the Franconia Range on the other side of the Notch.

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    Further north are the Presidentials, about 50 miles away as the crow flies and 100 miles by road. In the center mass is Washington on the right, Clay on its northern slope, then Jefferson and Adams. Madison is hiding behind the Balsam Fir growing out of our stone wall.

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    Here's our camp with J's Frontier in the foreground and our Ranger tucked under its shed roof to the right....

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    ....and my walkin' around the woods knife and a hearty meal.

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  5. d.r.h.

    d.r.h. Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Outstanding post Steve (forgive my sense of humor)!
     
    ChazzyP likes this.
  6. ChazzyP

    ChazzyP Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    We're getting ready to head upcountry again this week--probably Thursday. I've been waiting for a somewhat cooler day to install the sub-rails I made on my exterior railing project which is surrounded by bluestone patio and shadeless. It'll be a little better tomorrow, so I'll get it done then.

    It's been just about a month since we've been up and there's always plenty on the to-do list. We need to finish the mowing on our North field on the lower acreage which was interrupted by some intermittency on the part of our Ranger. It would run fine for an hour or so, then just quit, only to start up again in 15 minutes or so like nothing was wrong in the first place. I did a bit of research and trouble-shooting without definitively finding any of the suggestions to be the culprit. I did find that the battery connections were shaky and a couple guys had written that caused similar problems in their machines, so I fixed those up and the old girl seems to have more pop to the starter, so hopefully that's it.

    Here's the Ranger in our dooryard last trip with our loging arch in the background...

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    ...and another pic from a few years ago with the arch toting a good-sized 10-foot birch log...

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    ...and a pic with the field mower when it was new in 2010. The Ranger was new to us that season, too, and had not yet had the roof or winch installed. The mower has a 44" cutting width using two rotary swing-arm blades powered by a 17 horse, two lung Kawasaki engine. I've since added the remote cable extension to get the controls up into the cab.

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    We didn't get any mowing done on the roadsides and field on the upper acreage last trip, but did manage to clean up the rest of the mess we left from downing the broken trees. We've still gotta take the arch up and pick up the stems to cut up for firewood. Note the difference in foliage between the mid-May pics in the previous post and the early July pic below.

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    We spent a lot of our time last trip hauling stuff up and back. You wouldn't think a guy that owns 4 trailers--boat, travel, dump, and construction box--would need to rent one, but we did take a little U-Haul box up with J's Frontier to carry a queen bed frame, foundation, and mattress along with 4 dining room chairs and 3 big awning windows for our future porch project. We brought back the double bed from our room and the old chairs, the latter going to my oldest son and the former up to our guest room.

    Here's the new-to-us chairs which K found at the transfer station gift house and the bed in our room.

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    Of course it wouldn't fit up he stairs, but there are advantages to having a partially finished cabin with only sub-floor throughout and no ceiling board in some areas.

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    As usual, I took some favorite knives with me to fondle...

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    ...work on...

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    ...and use.

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
    tech25 and Shappy like this.
  7. tech25

    tech25

    117
    Dec 20, 2012
    Amazing write up, thanks for bringing us along!

    You have an awesome bunch of knives as well.
     
    ChazzyP likes this.

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